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Labor and Economic Opportunity

MIOSHA and ABC Southeastern Michigan Chapter Form Workplace Safety Alliance

Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

May 18, 2007 - The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Southeastern Michigan Chapter signed a formal alliance last evening to protect the safety and health of Michigan's construction industry workers. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG).

The construction industry is one of the most hazardous industries in Michigan. Only about four percent of Michigan's workforce is employed in construction - however, construction fatalities account for more than 40 percent of all fatal workplace accidents.

"We are proud to sign this alliance to keep construction workers safe and healthy on the job in Southeastern Michigan," said MIOSHA Deputy Director Martha Yoder. "This proactive partnership between workers, industry and government, can save lives by ensuring that worker safety and health plays an integral role in construction projects."

The signing ceremony took place during the May chapter meeting. Signing the alliance were: Donald Luke, Chapter President and President of Long Mechanical Inc.; Lynn Grover, Chapter Safety Committee Chair and Vice President of MDG Enterprise Inc.; Mark Sawyer, Executive Director, ABC Southeastern Michigan Chapter; Martha Yoder, Deputy Director, MIOSHA Program; and Connie O'Neill, Director, MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division.

"We at the ABC Southeastern Michigan Chapter look forward to partnering with the team from MIOSHA in promoting safety and safety awareness to our members and our apprentices. We are encouraging our members to take part in this alliance to further improve their company's safety policies, procedures, and practices," said Grover. "Many of our members are ready for the ‘next step' in developing their safety programs. We hope to further open the lines of communication between ABC members and MIOSHA. Through better communication we will share information, brainstorm together, and convey the reality of how fast we need to update our safety procedures."

Alliances enable organizations committed to workplace safety and health to collaborate with MIOSHA to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses. Alliances are open to all groups, including: trade or professional associations, businesses, labor organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies.

The goals of this alliance include, but are not limited to: 

  • Helping members improve their safety and health systems through ongoing communication and outreach activities; 
  • Providing training and education activities and encouraging member participation;
  • Sponsoring seminars with the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division; and 
  • Promoting workplace safety and health by including information on the alliance, the seminars, and other safety and health issues, in regular membership mailings and faxes, in newsletters, on the website, and at member meetings.

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national trade association representing 24,000 merit shop contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and related firms in 78 chapters across the United States. There are four local Chapters in Michigan: Central Michigan, Saginaw Valley, Southeastern Michigan and Western Michigan, with a total of nearly 1,200 members.

The ABC Southeastern Michigan Chapter has been instructing apprentices for 23 years through their education affiliate, the Construction Education Trust. Their mission is to help train tomorrow's workforce to be skilled, motivated, and safety conscious. They offer four years of training in the following crafts: Electrical, Carpentry, Plumbing, Sheet Metal and HVAC.

While participation by individual employers is voluntary, MIOSHA anticipates that chapter members who embrace the goals of the alliance and who strive to provide a safe and healthy workplace, will experience a decrease in workplace accidents and illnesses, and a decrease in workers' compensation costs.

There are many benefits to participating in an alliance with MIOSHA. Through this program, organizations will: 

  • Build trusting, cooperative relationships. 
  • Network with others committed to workplace safety and health. 
  • Exchange information about best practices. 
  • Leverage resources to maximize worker safety and health protection.

For more information about forming an alliance or partnership with MIOSHA, please check our website at www.michigan.gov/miosha or contact the Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division at 517-322-1809. For more information about the ABC Southeastern Michigan Chapter, please go to http://www.abcsemi.org/, or call Mark Sawyer at 248-399-6460.